At the time I’d read this book I’d already read The $100 Startup, which is one of my all-time favorite books and one that I try to reread every year. I’ve also purchased one of his courses from Creative Live on Travel hacking which was also very good.
For those not familiar with Chris, his real claim to fame and what he is known for is completing a personal quest of visiting every country in the world by the age of 35. Chris Guillebeau has a writing style that is very readably digestible.
For this book, The Happiness of Pursuit, he outlines and gives sample case studies on how to find, measure and complete your own personal journey. Reading The Happiness of Pursuit will (1) teach you how it’s not about the destination, but the journey, (2) inspire you to select your journey (3) how to set and measure your achievement (4) set deadlines or how to know when your finished (5) how to deal with distractions and stay focused (6) when to pivot or quit
Case studies include both his journey and others who Chris has meet through his travels and experiences. Not all of these journeys involve travel. Some are from people that never left home. Those homebased journeys, and amongst my most notable favorites include Scott Young, who completed a self-guided bachelor’s degree program in Computer Science from MIT’s free course catalog inside of 1 year, all for free. (all of MIT’s classes and degree programs are available for free online, including coursework, lectures, tests, etc. which I think is really awesome). Like most of the book’s samples, Scott documented his experience in a blog.
What personal journeys has this book inspired me to take? Having finished the book a few days ago and had about a week to think about this topic, here’s my current list:
-Cook my way through the CIA textbook (Culinary Institute of America)
-Travel to and eat at every eatery that Anthony Bourdain filmed in or wrote about.
-Speak, read and write nothing but Spanish for 2 months or until I’m 80% fluent, whichever comes first. And then another language…
-Repeating the surfing adventure of one of my favorite movies, The Endless Summer 2. Traveling to all the same beaches, and surfing the same breaks.
The Happiness of Pursuit is a good book, worth reading and I can’t think of anyone who shouldn’t read it. It really is for everyone. I also really love the title’s play on words. I’m sure some potential readers won’t see past the travel aspect and think they should pass because of childcare obligations or some other barrier, but one of my favorite case studies was of Sasha Martin. Sasha cooked dishes from a different country every week until she had been through every country all around the globe, without ever leaving Oklahoma, so her newborn daughter was able to see the world through their kitchen table. All of these stories are about personal journeys that make you a better human. Use this book to find your own Hero’s journey of development and fulfillment. It may change your life.